Living is Easy with Eyes Closed
by Emily L. Foley
I am an unusual combination of loving the ‘newest and coolest’ treatment/product on the block, and being a pretty big skeptic about things.
Which is why when I heard that Flöt SPA had opened in Atlanta, I immediately wanted to try it, but was also pretty unsure that it could be anything but just cool.
Flöting is a concept that is extremely popular in some parts of Europe, particularly Germany, and involves floating in water that is so densely filled with salt that your body automatically floats. So basically, a man-made version of the Dead Sea.
While there are places in Europe where this is done in large community pools, Flöt SPA has two pods filled with 12-inches of body temperature water with 300 pounds of dissolved Epsom salts in it.
The benefits of flöting sessions are said to range from speeding the healing process of injuries, boosting your immune system, improving sleep, increasing endorphins and diminishing depression and anxiety, and one hour of flöting is equivalent to four hours of R.E.M. sleep for your body (!!!).
Flöt SPA itself is a calm, zen-like space that offers Aveda products for both pre- and post-Flöting, and a range of other spa treatments.
Once I got my orientation about the concept and what to expect, I locked myself in my private Flöt room, and showered off.
Then I stripped down, put in ear plugs and goggles (like the ones at tanning beds), and stepped into the water.
They tell you at Flöt that you should apply a thin layer of Vaseline on any cuts or scrapes you may have to keep them from burning, and this is advice I highly recommend you follow! One dip in the water, and I was suddenly keenly aware of all sorts of shaving nicks I didn’t realize I had.
You know when you make cook and serve pudding, and it finally starts getting a little bit thick and you know that at last you’re getting to the end of stirring? That’s exactly what the water in the pod reminded me of–that really thick, but still liquid, water.
Do you see how much of my legs are out of the water in this picture? It really is crazy how easily you float in the water–I was actually trying to keep myself down, and it was a workout trying to hold my body beneath the surface.
The whole experience–the pod, the weightlessness, the blue lights in the water–felt very ‘something hatching’ in a sci fi movie, and I kept having visions of the precogs in Minority Report (I can’t believe I remember that movie!). But, of course the key to science fiction is that little word ‘science’, and there is some pretty cool science behind flöting.
The pod has a hinged lid that you can pull completely closed or leave slightly open, and being as claustrophobic as I am, I didn’t think I could handle being completely closed in, but after experiencing the environment for a while, I ended up doing it no problem.
After my 50 minute session, I took another shower (definitely wanted to get all that salt out of my hair–Next time I go, I will probably take a shower cap to keep my hair dry, but the experience was totally worth ruining a blowout!), and headed on my way.
And as I headed on my way, I was shocked to discover that I felt that completely relaxed feeling you have post-massage, but without any of the residual muscle pain that can sometimes accompany a rubdown. Also some soreness I had been experiencing in my lower back and neck was completely gone.
A 50-minute flöt session at Flöt SPA is $90, so actually on the low end of what massages cost at various spas, so it is surprisingly accessible for something so new and innovative (At least in the States).
And there you have it–the latest, greatest craze in the health and wellness realm is not only completely cool, but also actually works.
Let me know if you’ve had any experience with flöting!
*Top photo courtesy of Flöt SPA, bottom photo taken by moi*
Peace, Love and Flöting,